Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones claim a pair of wins to open Fresno State Kickoff Classic


Tyler Coe

Right fielder Milaysia Ochoa points toward the Iowa State dugout durning a 5-4 win over Iowa. 

Pavle Markovic, Sports Reporter

The Iowa State softball team started its second tournament of the season Friday in Fresno, California, as the team took part in the Fresno State Kickoff Classic. 

The Cyclones were able to win both of their games on Friday and are now sitting at 4-3 overall.

Cyclones blast UIC in first game

The Cyclones started off the day playing against the UIC Flames, and they were able to dominate, winning by a score of 7-0. The Cyclones were able to score those seven runs on seven hits and five walks. 

Junior center fielder Milaysia Ochoa was able to hit her first home run of the season as she gave Iowa State a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Freshman right fielder Tiana Poole continued to make a name for herself as she was able to hit a bases clearing triple in the fifth inning to give the Cyclones a 6-0 lead. The pitching staff was also able to hold the Flames to zero runs by only giving up five hits and four walks. 

Senior right-handed pitcher Karlie Charles was able to come in for relief and was able to pitch four innings while only giving up one hit while striking out five batters. Charles was also able to claim the win on Friday, moving to 2-0 on the season. 

Nelson’s late game heroics

Iowa State took on the Fresno State Bulldogs in their second matchup of the day, and it was a battle all game as they were able to barely squeak out a win thanks to a late rally in the seventh inning. 

The Cyclones were able to capture the early lead in the second with two doubles and a single to give them a 3-0 lead. That lead quickly diminished, as the Bulldogs were able to take the lead and build it as by the end of the third inning, it was 5-3 Fresno State.

Iowa State was now down to its final three outs of the game in the seventh as a rally slowly began to take shape. 

Coach Jamie Pinkerton called in senior Carli Spelhaug to pinch hit, as she was able to take advantage of having runners on base and doubled to shrink the deficit to one as it became 5-4 Bulldogs. Pinkerton decided to call yet another pinch hitter as he brought in senior Lea Nelson to look to give the Cyclones back the lead late in the game. 

Nelson was able to hit a single that brought in two runs to give Iowa State back the lead at 6-5. Charles was able to hold it down and acquire the save, as she locked it down in the bottom of the seventh, to give the Cyclones their second win of the tournament.

Was just day one

It was a thrilling start for the Cyclones. They were able to capture two wins to start out the Fresno State Kickoff Classic on Friday. 

They now look to continue their momentum throughout the remainder of the tournament playing at 6 p.m Saturday in Seattle. Then at 11 a.m. Sunday again  in Seattle, and they will conclude the tournament against Idaho State at 1:30 p.m.